Professionals group could reduce skills shortage
A newly formed group for young professionals could potentially help address South Canterbury’s ongoing skills shortage, one of its organisers says.
Many businesses within South Canterbury have in recent years cited the skills shortage - a lack of people available to take up roles within various organisations, as prohibiting them from expanding.
The idea for a group for young professionals was sparked by businesses which were members of the Professionals Business Connection Group, established by Aoraki Development.
These businesses identified retaining young professionals as a key issue for them and believed helping the young professionals get established with social con- nections was critical to getting them to stay longer in the district.
The new group, South Canterbury Young Professionals, held its launch event at the Landing Services Building on Friday night.
Timpany Walton lawyer and one of the event’s organisers, Tom Nation, said the event went well, with about 180 people attending.
Nation believed the group might help keep people in South Canterbury a little bit longer than they might have done, even if that was only for a year or two, by providing them with social connections.
‘‘Have some good mates and some good times,’’ he said. This could also reduce the amount of time employers would have to spend on re-training new people.
‘‘I guess it’s one of the reasons why employers are keen to get behind it,’’ he said. ‘‘To help people that are new to the district, to help them meet people and make connections.’’
There were groups for young professionals in other parts of New Zealand which worked quite well, and a few people had tried to get something going in South Canterbury in recent years, he said.
Nation said he and four others - Angus Dyer, Gemma Tomsett, Ross Fentz and Katrina Lynam, were shoulder tapped by their employers and asked to put the event together.
The group had established a Facebook page, South Canterbury Young Professionals, which anyone that was interested in learning more about the group could have a look at.
The group was looking at holding another event in October in conjunction with Ara Institute of Canterbury, and another event in November.
Dyer said there was a huge variety of businesses represented among the attendees, including teachers, lawyers, accountants, Fonterra staff and hospital staff.
Some of the young professionals at Friday night’s event are, from left, Angus Dyer, Tom Nation and Bradley Monahan.